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Clemson, Alabama, and Ohio State are all chalk to make the four-team playoff? Who would have thunk it. Following a college basketball season in which it was anyone's year, football's blue bloods remain atop the list to crack next year's playoff field.
With little to no parity of late, it's not as fun to handpick all the favorites. However, there's some value on at least one powerhouse, along with some other sells.
Here's who you should keep tabs on to make the College Football Playoff.
I have no problem penciling in Clemson yet again. While other contenders have to go through the gauntlet of the regular season, Clemson still has the benefit of playing in the ACC. The Tigers are laying six points at Notre Dame late in the year, and I have them as at least a two-touchdown favorite in every other game.
The Pac-12 is pretty wide-open for the most part, so I don't mind taking a couple fliers on recognizable programs such as Arizona State at 100-1 to win the whole thing. This is the first time buying Oregon stock, and I'll do that at 5-1 just to make the playoff.
Although the offense has some major holes to fill, it's the defense in Eugene that I really like for 2020. PFF grades four of the team's cornerbacks in the top 30 nationally and former No. 1 overall recruit Kayvon Thibodeaux looked like a problem in his freshman season. The Ducks' schedule is rough at certain points, but they do get Ohio State, Washington, Arizona State, and USC all at home.
It's becoming a common theme to fade LSU, though it's not meant to be contrarian. I thought their opening price to win the title was inflated, as were quarterback Myles Brennan's Heisman odds. Now we're seeing the Tigers get 2-1 odds just to make the playoff, which seems difficult given the circumstances. LSU is virtually starting over from scratch offensively, returning the second-least production among offensive starters in the country. Gone is Joe Brady, who took the offensive coordinator job with the Carolina Panthers after one year with the program. LSU has five games to circle: Texas and Alabama at home, and Florida, A&M, and Auburn on the road.
I like finding dark horses in the SEC more than the average person, but I'm not so sure Auburn is it. The Tigers are in the middle of the pack nationally in returning production and No. 10 in the conference. Their schedule is also among the toughest in the country, featuring road games against Georgia, North Carolina, Mississippi, and Mississippi State.
Kirk Ferentz has become the model of consistency at Iowa. The head coach has appeared in a bowl in 17 of the last 19 seasons. However, the program is still a far cry from a national title contender. You'd have to offer a much better number on a team that has the sixth-toughest schedule in the country while returning less than half its production on both offense and defense.
Alex Kolodziej is a betting writer for theScore. He's a graduate of Eastern Illinois who has been involved in the sports betting industry for 12 years. He can quote every line from "Rounders" and appreciates franchises that regularly wear alternate jerseys. Find him on Twitter @AJKolodziej.